Take it easy, backyard hot tub style.
Start with the basics: backyards, decks, and patios are all about relaxing. That’s why a hot tub fits in so well. Let’s assume you’re just thinking about adding a hot tub.
- Plan to use your hot tub all year long. Plant seasonal flowers, move furniture, or add a spa umbrella when the seasons change.
- Keep it simple: you may only need matching steps and planters around your hot tub.
- Create a leafy, natural retreat around your hot tub, for privacy and beauty. Don’t wait for trees to mature – ivy-covered trellises surrounding your hot tub work well, too.
Backyards for beginners.
If you didn’t grow up gardening, or you’re as nature-deprived as many of us seem to be these days, you may be intimidated by the idea of taking care of a yard, not to mention planning how it’s going to look.
The rule of thumb is to plan for or around the hardscape. This is masonry work, woodwork, patios, decks, wooden arbors – anything permanent or built-in. (Plants, shrubs, lawn are considered softscape). A hot tub should be thought of as hardscaping, especially if you’re planning to surround it with decking. Look through some examples of hot tub installations for inspiration.
Get the big picture.
Nurseries full of exotic plants are tempting, especially in the Spring, but they don’t always fit in when we get them home. Most backyards are organized by a few strong elements, like a green grassy lawn, rows of hedges, a patio for entertaining. Start with these dominant features, and also decide how you will get to and from different areas. Then fill in the blanks with seasonal plants, furniture, etc.
Copy what you like.
When you see something you like, consider adapting the idea for your yard. Plants growing in your neighborhood are a safe bet (the climate supports them). Admire your neighbor’s new brick walkway? Ask for the name of the bricklayer, or maybe the homeowner has some tips for you! You can research how-to details online for almost any landscaping or outdoor remodeling project.